You will know that one of the quickest and easiest methods to identify the right candidates and attract them onto the market is to pick up the phone and speak to them directly. You will get a much quicker response – even if it’s not the response you wanted. However, a bit of courage is needed to make those extra headhunt calls that can help you turn that tough-to-fill role into a deal in no time.
This is easier said than done. When faced with the option of firing over a quick email or staying behind and making a few phone calls. It can be very tempting to just click ‘send’ and head home. There are a number of reasons why people may be hesitant: fear of failure and procrastination are popular excuses.
A headhunt call is really no different to any other kind of cold call that you do. With a plan and bit of practice they get easier and you can become better at them. Follow these seven tips to set yourself up for success with your next call.
1. Get into the right mindset
Before you even pick up the phone, start by telling yourself that you are about to make a call just like any other. There is nothing scary or different. If a candidate picks up on your nervousness it won’t inspire confidence in you and could jeopardise your chances of converting that candidate and getting a deal.
If you have identified the right target and your call is appropriate – they will be happy to talk and learn more about the opportunity.
2. Establish your objective
Set your objective and know what you are going to say. You may find it useful to write a little introductory script to follow.
You may not always convert the candidate but you can still get a positive outcome from every call you make if you set a minimum objective such as scheduling a follow up, finding out who they could recommend or what might interest them in the future to move from their current role.
3. Be prepared
The more knowledge you have about the target you are calling, the more credible you will be. This information is very easy to find, so get on their company website, look them up on LinkedIn and anywhere else there is information about them. Be prepared with 3-5 facts about the candidate to show you’ve done your research.
4. Use the people you already know
One of the best sources of information you have is the people you already know. Use them wisely to source target information. For specific roles you should be talking to anyone you think is relevant to gain information and to improve your shortlist. Once someone has given you a name, ask if you can you use their name in the approach. If someone allows you to do this the call is much more powerful: “John Smith suggested that I reach out to you regarding…”
5. Always make a positive impact
You have a small window of opportunity to make an impact with the target; the rule of thumb is the first few seconds is key to getting the candidate “on the hook”. It is much easier to make a positive impact if the role is of relevant to them, if it isn’t, all credibility is lost immediately.
6. Appeal to their ego
Everyone likes to think that they are well regarded and recognised for what they do in their industry and the business they work for. There is nothing wrong with appealing to your candidates ego, personalising the role just to them can go a long way. Who doesn’t like an ego boost?
7. Try and work in a sales hook
During your preparation and research on a candidate, try and identify any potential hooks that might exist for that person. Is their department management heavy? This could mean that there isn’t the opportunity for growth in their current role that they would like.
In an ideal world it would be great to place the call, convert the candidate and get the deal but this doesn’t always happen. Don’t be disheartened. Take the positive out of every call you make. With a plan in place and continuous practice you will improve your confidence and ultimately, your results. Take these 7 tips on board, start putting them into practice and reap the rewards!
Image courtesy of Bart Anestin